Freedom, choice and responsibility was the mantra of Metro High School—the School Without Walls—a bold experiment by the Chicago Public Schools that operated from 1970–1991. This was a far cry from the test driven standardized high school of today. And while Metro is long gone, the stories in Metro suggest it may still offer some food for thought for re-evaluating high schools today. Metro was designed to draw students from all over the city and to seek new ways to involve students in their own education and to utilize the many facets of this very vibrant city. Students took classes at Metro’s Loop headquarters but also at such varied locations as the Art Institute of Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, Second City Theater and Northeastern Illinois’ Center for Inner City Studies. They travelled throughout the city to learn from the people of Chicago.

Here is Metro’s story in the voices of those who lived it. We hope it will generate a continuing dialogue for reshaping high school education in the 21st century. We welcome your thoughts. Write to